CU Drafts Plan to Promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: ‘Groups Continue to Feel Marginalized’
A University of Colorado committee has released a draft plan for the campus to promote diversity, equity and an inclusive campus climate.
Although CU has made progress, more work needs to be done, according to the committee.
“We cannot be truly excellent unless we identify and eliminate the barriers that have prevented historically marginalized and underserved people from fully accessing the opportunities and resources they need to succeed,” the committee’s 27 members wrote in the plan’s introduction. “We cannot be truly excellent when groups continue to feel marginalized, threatened and demoralized on our campus.”
The 56-page plan outlines recommendations and accountability measures the campus can undertake to achieve three stated goals: create a diverse, inclusive and equitable learning and working climate; create or improve infrastructure to support that; and make diversity, equity and inclusive excellence a permanent and shared priority among campus leadership.
The report notes that although CU has recruited increasingly diverse freshman classes, the growth “has been uneven and falls short,” both in undergraduate and graduate student populations. CU must do more to hire and welcome a diverse faculty and staff, too, the report states.
Campus community members are asked to provide feedback on the draft plan in 12 town hall sessions over the next month, starting Tuesday, or through an online form . Once the plan is finalized, a coordinating committee for implementation will likely oversee its rollout.
Among the recommendations is that CU focus not only on recruiting a diverse student body, faculty and staff but also on retaining them.
“Universities love to brag about their recruitment, but if you create a revolving door where you recruit people to campus and then don’t have a climate, environment or culture that welcomes them and includes them, then they’re simply going to leave again,” said Daryl Maeda, one of the committee’s co-chairs. Maeda is the associate dean for student success in the College of Arts and Sciences and an associate professor of ethnic studies.
The plan also recommends more frequent campus climate surveys.
“We have to have mechanisms by which we are holding up a mirror to our campus, to be realistic about our campus, to be able to identify what we’re doing well and what we need to be paying more attention to and doing better about,” said Merna Jacobsen, the other committee co-chair. Jacobsen is assistant vice chancellor, deputy chief human resources officer and director of organizational and employee development.
The plan outlines specific strategies CU can use to allocate more money to the efforts, such as creating a continuing budget line for initiatives in the plan or implementing a 1 percent reallocation of department resources.
It outlines accountability strategies, too, so that administrators and departments are made responsible for the work. It advocates for the creation of Center for Teaching and Learning Outcomes to bring together knowledge on campus and provide professional development.
The plan also outlines what further infrastructure is needed, such as department-specific diversity and inclusion plans.
Maeda and Jacobsen said good work is already being done on campus, but the plan illustrates how that work can be expanded and coordinated across campus.
“In order to make progress on the issue, we’ve got to have collective noticing and collective responding,” Jacobsen said. “This belongs to everybody in the institution.”
The draft of the Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence and Academics — or IDEA — Plan is available at: colorado.edu/odece/diversity-plan.
Cassa Niedringhaus: 303-473-1106, firstname.lastname@example.org